Women who get mentally tired from their jobs are 21% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, researchers report.

A French study involving more than 73,000 women compared those who feel mentally tired carrying out their daily job, with those who do not feel less of an impact.

Speaking to Endocrine Today, Dr Guy Fagherazzi, senior research scientist at the Centre of Research in Epidemiology and Population Health at Paris-Saclay University, said: “In this study on more than 70,000 women followed for 22 years, we have observed an increased risk of type 2 diabetes associated with mentally tiring work, used as a marker of job demands.

“Women with very mentally tiring work have a 21% higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than women with little or not mentally tiring work.”

The trial, which began in 1992, involved asking all the female participants to complete questionnaires about their health and their jobs.

The findings showed that 17,697 women (24%) said they found work was very mentally tiring, followed by 42,198 females (57%) who said work was mentally tiring and 13,622 women (18%) reported little in the way of mental tiredness from work.

The results showed there was a 21% increase in risk of developing type 2 diabetes across the workers. Interestingly, a stronger association was found between increased type 2 diabetes risk and mentally tiring work for non-overweight women (BMI of less than 25kg/m2) than for overweight women (BMI of 25kg/m2 or more).

There was a modest increase in risk for women that were mentally tired by their work and overweight, however, the increase was not deemed to be statistically significant enough.

Dr Fagherazzi added: “Our results suggest the importance of taking into consideration the potential long-term metabolic impact of work-related stress for women working in a demanding environment.

“We will now run studies focusing on the effect of stress and psychological factors on diabetes-related complications in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Increased support for individuals with demanding jobs should also be investigated in intervention studies.”

The findings are published in the European Journal of Endocrinology.

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